Sunday could be a historic day for French football fans, as the Parisian football team PSG could become the first French team win the prestigious Champions League cup since 1993.
While French authorities put somewhat of a damper on the PSG fans' excitement by banning fanzones in the capital following chaotic scenes during the semi-final, one city went a bit further.
PSG supporters in Marseille will have to keep a low profile on potentially their club's greatest night, with local police saying they will ban the club shirt in some areas during Sunday's #ChampionsLeague final in order to avoid clashes between rival fans. https://t.co/PnUnBUzfqL
— Alexander Seale (@AlexSeale) August 21, 2020
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The north-south divide is perhaps France's strongest socio-geographical divide, and people from the south tend to see Parisian as snobbish and rude.
Yes! Despite their longstanding rivalry, Marseille is home to many PSG fans (as Paris is to OM fans).
— Philippe echtebaise (@PEchtebaise) August 18, 2020
However tensions between the two clubs are so high that the French interior ministry regularly issues travel bans for away fans when the clubs meet.
During the semi-finals there were two assaults on people wearing PSG shirts in Marseille, according to AFP.
The video below shows a group of men in Marseilles demanding a PSG supporter removes his shirt.
— AKTU (@aktu__k) August 19, 2020
“The decree suffers from a fine error of legal basis,” he tweeted.
The backlash prompted the prefecture to retract the decree on Friday, stating that: “Faced with the incomprehension caused by this decree, the préfet decided to repeal it today,” they said in a tweet on Friday.
“The sole purpose of this decree was to protect Parisian supporters, and in no way intended to restrict freedom of movement.”
⚽️ Afin d’éviter la réitération des troubles à l’ordre public survenus lors de la demi-finale opposant le PSG au RB Leipzig le @prefpolice13 a pris hier un arrêté interdisant autour du Vieux port la circulation de toute personne se prévalant de la qualité de supporter du PSG. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/JVvcbG1YZL
— Préfet de police des Bouches-du-Rhône (@prefpolice13) August 21, 2020
Instead of an outright ban, the Bouches-du-Rhône police department now “invite” all PSG supporters in Marseille not to carry signs of their support in public spaces and to “show moderation in their eventual celebrations.”
In Paris, PSG fans will have to watch the game from their homes or a bar, as the mayor's office has said no to fanzones in the city.